If you’re at a blackjack table and aren’t sure what to do, this handy chart will break it all down for you. Since its foundation is in the mathematics of blackjack, this chart should be adhered to religiously. Because of the extensive research done by mathematicians, blackjack is now known as a “solved game.” That is to say, we are fully aware of the optimal course of action in any circumstance.

When things aren’t going well at the blackjack table, it’s easy to be tempted to stray from optimal strategy. If your card says to hit on 16 against a dealer 7 and you’ve busted the last five times in a row, you should still follow the advice. One of the main reasons casinos don’t mind if you use a strategy card at the table is that the temptation to deviate is so great.

The house regulations of the casino you’re playing in can alter the optimal blackjack strategy you adopt. This blackjack rules chart is based on the following assumptions:

With a soft 17, the dealer must stand.

Doubling up after a break

Late capitulation

Dealers are often instructed to “hit on soft 17” at casinos. In such case, please revise this strategy map as follows:

Count as a double 11 if the dealer possesses an ace.

When the dealer shows a 2, play Double Ace-7; when the dealer shows a 6, play Double Ace-8.

Surrender 15 and 17 against an Ace-dealer; 8 and 8

How to Play with These Playing Cards

Each player’s total is listed down the right side of the chart, while the dealer’s total is listed along the top. After receiving your first two cards, add them together and consult the left side of the chart to find out where you stand. Then, take a look at the top of the table and locate the value that corresponds to the dealer’s up card. The optimal move can be found in the intersection of the relevant column and row.

Three types of hands are distinguished by three distinct charts.

## Tough Grip:

Most people have what are called “hard hands.” In other words, there is no pair present, and there is no Ace in the deck. Among the range of possible “hard” hands are K-7, 6-9, and 8-J.

## Gentle Touch:

It is common parlance to refer to Ace-high hands as “soft hands.” Soft hands include the A-2, A-K, and 7 of spades.

## Pairs:

In poker, a “pair” is defined as a hand with two cards of equal value. Pairs can be found in the hands of 2-2, K-J, and A-A.

You should now be able to classify any hand and always make the best move. Consider the following scenario in which you have been dealt A-7 and the dealer is showing an 8. You should use the “soft totals” table because you have an Ace. Find the column with the A through 7 and slide across until you’re in the intersection with the dealer’s up-card 8. According to the strategy chart, standing is the optimal move here.

This table is applicable to any potential opening hand. This chart can also be used to quickly find the sum of several numbers. You can utilize the chart again with your new total of 11 if, for instance, you start with a 2-3 and then hit and catch a 6.

Keep in mind that there is still a slight house advantage in blackjack, even when using perfect strategy. The approach outlined here reduces the benefit considerably, but it is still present. Money can be won or lost in large amounts in a single session. Don’t risk your rent money on a dice roll.